51st State of Liberty

51st 'State of Liberty'
Is Eastern Conservative bastion a viable dream?

EAST WENATCHEE -- It was fitting that the 30 or so members of the Douglas County Republican Party met at the Bethel Baptist Church on Eastmont Avenue here the night of Monday, Oct. 2. Fitting because immediately after the regular meeting of the GOP faithful in a nearby conference room, the real "coming to Jesus" moment of the evening occurred in the main chapel, complete with a cross and a "can I have an amen?" from the special guest speaker.
The DCRP speaker that night, a lawyer become political evangelist, who also happens to be the Republican State Representative for the 4th District (R-Spokane Valley), was Matt Shea.
In a late March letter to the citizens of Washington, Matt Shea asked: "Would you support the idea of creating a 51st state east of the Cascade Mountains?"
Shea then explained, "Why a 51st state? As an elected state representative, it’s the one issue I hear about the most while visiting residents in the 4th Legislative District. Tired of being bullied by the three main counties in Western Washington (King, Pierce, Snohomish), residents often tell me it’s the one thing that would get them excited about state government again. 'But our strength is in our diversity,' is the usual argument against even thinking about forming a 51st state with more like-minded people. However, this mantra continues to fall on deaf ears as voters and elected officials from the Puget Sound region continue to run roughshod over their Eastern Washington brethren on everything from increased taxes to overly-aggressive environmental regulations; from efforts to take away citizens’ gun rights to mandated funding of abortions; from ignoring our agriculture and natural resource based economy to telling us what to do with our water and dams.
"Many of the citizens I talk with have had enough. They feel like a state government 'of the people, by the people, and for the people,' applies to everyone but the '509' zip code.
"Opponents immediately say we’d lose a huge tax base in Western Washington as well as some of the large tech companies located there, which would be true. But they fail to understand that we’d also prioritize government spending instead of saying “yes” to every idea under the sun. We’d be stewards of the land and resources around us and view our abundant agriculture as an asset to be strengthened rather than tolerated.
"The fact is, the size and scope of government in “Liberty” would be dramatically smaller and therefore, cheaper and more efficient. It would also attract many businesses into the new state.
"No, we wouldn’t agree on everything, but those disagreements would include less cultural bias as no one would feel beholden to the concrete and steel urban jungle of Seattle," concluded Shea's appeal towards his formation of a devoutly Christian, patriotic, less taxed promised land.
Shea also mentioned another group of "renegades" in California who wanted to form the "State of Jefferson" that would span a mostly rural area of southern Oregon and Northern California.
Judging from the audience reaction, most agreed with Shea about Western Washington's dominance of the state's political landscape due to population.
Shea began his talk by sounding like an "Alt-Right" candidate saying that the forming of a new state would "protect our Christian culture."  
The title of the speech, "The Real Threats We Face and the Future of the 51st State," gave a hint as to Shea's focus in the blaming of liberalism, socialism and even Communism for the woes of what Eastern Washingtonians suffer through when dealing with "unfair" regulations, laws and attitudes emanating from the West.
"Who are our enemies?" Shea asked. "Communists, Muslim Brotherhood and Foreign States." Shea said, answering his own question.
He told the audience that running for local office is where "we make freedom happen."
"Can anyone imagine 20 years ago people kneeling for the National Anthem?" he asked. During the talk Shea also gave historical proof that the Communist Party in 1930s Germany had a nearly exact logo as does the modern Anti-Fa movement fighting the Alt-Right in the streets of America today.
The Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS) is another  group assailed by Shea as modern-day left-wing radicals that think "Constitutionalists are a greater threat than ISIS."
Shea spoke plainly about the many details that must be dealt with in the prelude to seceding from "Mother Washington" including the forming of myriad committees, county resolutions, splitting of agencies and debts, establishment of new boundaries, designing and agreeing on a flag, state capitol and many other issues including the sharing of federal funds.
He said the "splitting of the debt" might be the most complicated of the tasks that need to be settled with Olympia. As far as a new state capital? Shea thinks it ought to be Moses Lake because of its vibrant tech and industrial growth over the last decade and its central location in Eastern Washington (Liberty).
Added to the above list of things to do when forming a new state includes the writing of a new constitution and selecting delegates to the constitutional convention.
Shea said everything he was about to tell the GOP faithful that night was provable and offered many examples to illustrate his points including the fact that states had previously broken from one another over the course of American history such as West Virginia from Virginia.
He also admitted the legislative process to secede would be arduous and would most assuredly receive stiff opposition from the West-siders.
Shea's website reveals the priorities for the new state via the precepts built into the so-called Freedom Agenda.
"The Freedom Agenda, the most successful slate of conservative legislation in Washington state, is based on defending the Constitution, private property rights, gun ownership, veterans, and the sanctity of human life, while promoting lower taxes, less government and more freedom. As your state representative, I will continue to defend liberty, stand up for the people against an over-reaching government, and uphold the Constitution."
State Rep. Cary Condotta (R-Wenatchee) introduced Shea to the attendees, which included his fellow 12th District State Rep. Michael Steele (R-Chelan).
Condotta said he has heard the argument for the "State of Liberty" before and sees little to argue about, while Steele was pressed for time and did not comment on the presentation. 

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